“According To The Law”    

Luke 2:21-24

            Everything our Savior did as a man he did “according to the law.” When the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to save his people from their sins, he willingly put himself under the law and became voluntarily subject to the law in all things as a man. He did so because God cannot justify the guilty except upon the grounds of strict justice. Righteousness must be maintained and justice must be satisfied in the exercise of mercy, love, and grace. He who is our God and Savior is “a just God and a Savior” (Isa. 45:20). “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged” (Prov. 16:6).

Made Under The Law

            Therefore, “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,    To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal. 4:4-5). Now, since his work is finished, since he has brought in an everlasting righteousness and made an end of sin for his elect, Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled. “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake,” to justify us and forgive our sins. Our Redeemer has magnified the law and made it honorable (Isaiah 42:21). Though the yoke of the law was a heavy yoke, and only a shadow of good things to come, if we would have those good things, Christ must bear the law’s heavy yoke for us. And he did it as our willing Substitute and Surety. Though the carnal ordinances of the law were what the Holy Spirit calls, “weak and beggarly elements,” and but the “rudiments of the world,” our Lord Jesus Christ submitted to all the ordinances and institutions of the law as a man, that he might fulfil the law for us and bring it to an honorable end.

The End Of The Law

Having fulfilled all the law in the room and stead of his people, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom. 10:4). He is the end of the law in every sense of the word. He is the end of the law as its object. The law was given to point us to Christ, to shut us up to Christ. Now that Christ has come, the law has no other purpose. He fulfilled it. Christ is the end of the law’s curse. The curse of the law was spent on our Substitute. Therefore, those who are redeemed by his blood have no fear of being cursed by the law (Gal. 3:13). Our Lord Jesus Christ is the end of the law’s power. Having slain our Substitute, all who are in him representatively are now dead to the law (Rom. 7:4). He is also the end of the law’s rule. Being made free from sin in Christ, all believer’s are free from the law’s rule. We are now ruled, motivated, and governed by the grace of God in Christ, not the law of God (Rom. 6:14-15).

The Law Established By Faith

God’s holy law requires from all men perfect righteousness and complete satisfaction. It will not bend. It will not accept sincerity, repentance, or the greatest, most costly sacrifices men can make. How, then, can fallen, guilty, depraved sinners meet the law’s demands? How can we escape the wrath of God? There is only one way. – “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Our faith in Christ does not satisfy the law’s demands; but Christ, the Object of our faith, does. Thus, when sinners, who can never meet the law’s demands, believe on Christ, “we establish the law” (Rom. 3:31).

Don Fortner